Posted by Josh Jeffery on December 15th, 2015.
London is considered to be one of the best destinations to celebrate Christmas, with a huge range of festive activities to whet even the heartiest of Yuletide appetites. But what if you live in London and want to experience something new? This article aims to highlight just a few of the best places to visit this Christmas and shares a top money-saving tip for making your trip more affordable.
As anyone who has watched one of the many New York-based Christmas movies will tell you, Americans do not do half-measures. Whilst these movies maybe somewhat elaborate, Times Square would not disappoint even the fattest of Santa impersonators. One of the most breath-taking sights is the Rockefeller Christmas tree, a 78-foot wonder that lost tourists can use as a navigational tool. The Norwegian Spruce will be bedecked with 45,000 LED bulbs and donated as lumber to Habitat for Humanity after it’s taken down on January 7th.
Looking for the perfect gifts for your loved ones? New York boasts one of the richest shopping experiences of any major city with store-lined streets bursting with festive merchandise. Even the window displays will have you open mouthed as retailers draw you in with what could be described as temporary art exhibitions. Aside from the static shops, you’ll also find a number of pop-up markets with all those idiosyncratic wares that are absent in major chains.
Looking for that fairy-tale Christmas? Prague in the Czech Republic could be your dream destination as light-clad buildings such as Prague Castle illuminate Old Town Square and Wenceslas Square, both prime spots for world-renowned markets teeming with holiday trinkets. And yes, what could be more Christmas-y than Wenceslas Square? These unique Christmas markets pull in thousands of tourists every year and give them the chance to sample traditional food stuffs, pet stabled animals and partake of local beers and a variety of warm drinks.
If shopping is not your thing, fear not. There are plenty of activities to enjoy aside from the Christmas markets. At this time of year Prague’s opera and ballet season is in full-swing and sightseeing is also a major draw for visitors. The festive lights and holiday atmosphere breathe new life into the historic buildings and a sightseeing tour is a brilliant way to help you discover the true beauty of the city – choose from walking tours, coach tours and river cruises.
Are you dreaming of a white Christmas? Look no further than Canada’s Quebec City, which is heaped in snow during the winter months. For those who like all the traditional elements of Christmas but with a twist, Canada’s French connection could be the spice your bland Christmas eggnog so needed. Quebec’s stone cobbled streets are lined with centuries old houses and when they’re topped with snow it brings the pictures painted in Dickensian passages to life. And for those who have small children (or just wish to act like them) sledding, skiing and skating are actively encouraged.
The city is teeming with traditional Christmas market stalls with all the charm of a German Christmas market. The streets are lavishly decorated, turning the functioning space into a full-scale Christmas model village. There are also a number of knowledgeable locals keen to give you an extensive guided tour of the city. Additionally, the French connection means that there are plenty of traditional carol concerts and masses to attend.
As most can attest, going abroad anywhere for Christmas can be expensive and the retail temptations can release the moths from the wallets of even the thriftiest of individuals. A commonly overlooked money saving tip is looking into how you exchange your money. If you usually use a bank to manage your international currency transfers you might be surprised to learn that you could enjoy serious savings by using a reputable currency broker instead. Some brokers could save you up to 90% on your exchange rate compared to your bank – that’s a lot more shopping for the same amount of Pounds.
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